Blackbaud Research on Online Giving

I had great fun last week keynoting Blackbaud’s annual North America conference in DC. Here is the video of the keynote that I did in person and Beth did virtually. Here is the video of our presentation:

I was very pleased by the response from the attendees, but it’s not what stuck with me for the day. I attended a presentation later in the day by Blackbaud. Chuck Longfield, the company’s head of research gave a presentation on the state of fundraising on land and on line that the company gathers from it’s 24,000 nonprofit users (quite a data set!) Here is a link to the findings they were reporting on. I asked Chuck if he was seeing any trends in the behavior of donors whose entry point is online. Do they give less over time? Do they give once and never again? Are the size of their donations less than the ones given by donors who begin through an in person event or through direct mail?

Chuck said it’s too early to tell the trends in this area. But he did share a very, very interesting data point.  He said that donors who come through traditional means like direct mail, who then transition to online giving, give more over time! Chuck said it’s as if giving easier online just makes people give more. This is fascinating and surely gives an incentive to organizations to try to transition their donors to online giving as soon as possible. I discussed with Chuck my interest in understanding donors who come in through social media and he agreed its a key research area in the near future.



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Allison Fine


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